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Microsoft Adding Outlook Groups to Mac, iOS and Android

Support for the Groups feature in Outlook arrive "in the coming weeks" for Mac, iOS and Android device users, Microsoft said Tuesday.

Only Office 365 subscribers that have Exchange Online and SharePoint Online as part of their subscription plans will get the new Groups in Outlook feature, according to the announcement.

The Groups in Outlook feature brings a number of shared collaboration items for organizations. They get a shared inbox, calendar, Planner and a OneNote notebook, along a SharePoint Team Site and a SharePoint Document Library. These resources are automatically provisioned when a group is created, as described in this Microsoft support document.

The new Android, iOS and Mac feature support is a commercial release. These Groups in Outlook users will be getting the ability to view, read and reply, and add events to a personal calendar. However, the ability to "view group details within the group card" just will be available for Android and iOS users. It's not part of the rollout for Mac users, Microsoft's announcement explained.

The added support for Android, iOS and Mac platforms bolsters this feature. The Groups in Outlook feature was already available for Windows users, as well as Outlook on the Web users. However, consumer Outlook.com users aren't getting Groups support.

Microsoft also highlighted some relatively new Groups in Outlook features. For instance, in Windows environments, IT pros can now set up guest access for users outside their organizations.

IT pros also can now grant permissions to group members to send things in certain ways when using Windows or Outlook on the Web. For instance, the "Send as" permission lets a group member appear as part of a specific department. The "Send on behalf" permission has a similar effect, but it just indicates that a message was sent on behalf of a department.

Outlook for Windows users can now select multiple conversations and delete them from a group. Outlook on the Web users can now invite people to join a group via e-mail or other means.

A few items are yet to come. Microsoft is working on the ability for Windows users to add appointments to a group calendar in which just some users in a group can be invited. It's also working on the ability to mark users in a company's directory as guest users. In addition, Groups in Outlook for Windows 10 Mobile devices appears to be a work in progress.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.